Our stories

Ken’s story

Ken* had experienced a long history, of drug and alcohol abuse which lead to a cycle of crime, prison and homelessness over a 10 year period.

Due to the influence of his addictions Ken’s behaviour was regularly aggressive and violent. He became synonymous with the local Police and retail security staff within Liverpool City Centre and frequently displayed anti-social behaviour which included; Sleeping and urinating in shop doorways, begging, and consuming alcohol on the street.

Entrenched Behaviour
Due to a series of offences and Ken’s unwillingness to engage with support services, he was barred from two of the city’s leading homeless drop in centres and his name added to an ‘Enforcement List’ which works to deal specifically with rough sleepers who are refusing appropriate help.

Later Ken was also refused entry to the short-term Wet Zone, which was set up on Renshaw Street within the city to contain problem street drinkers and allow alcohol-abuse professionals to engage with them and offer help.

The Tipping Point
The Wet Zone meant that Ken could not interact with other street drinkers which lead to less access to alcohol for him at this time and due to the effects of involuntary abstinence Ken was admitted to the Royal Liverpool Hospital having experienced an alcohol related seizure.

This presented an ideal opportunity for The Basement’s Hospital Outreach Staff to engage with Ken while he was in a sober state of mind.

Ken was at a point in his life where he was able and willing to take on board the advice of Basement staff that have shared similar life experiences, and spoke to him about his medical history, future aspirations and current situation. These conversations encouraged Ken to take up a place at Park View Residential Recovery Centre which provides support for men and women who are experiencing serious problems with drugs and alcohol.

The Change
Having been assessed and booked into Park View within a matter of days, The Basement staff visited Ken on day two of his placement. Tommy, Outreach Manager from The Basement commented…

“The change was amazing; the darkness had left his eyes along with the stresses and strains of life on the streets. He stood upright, tall and proud, not like the man we had come to know over the years – huddled, crouched and slouched – there was a genuine smile on his face.”

Moving Forward
Due to such a positive transformation within a very short period of time, the staff at Park View report that they anticipate a full recovery for Ken and The Basement will continue to support him through his treatment and in the future offer him an opportunity to volunteer with the Basement providing peer mentoring support to help other people who have been in Ken’s position.

*The names in this case have been changed to protect our client’s anonymity.